Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et uino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.
haec si, inquam, attuleris, uenuste noster,
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusue est:
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.
My attempt at a verse translation:
You will dine well at my house
if the gods favour you, my Fabullus,
and you bring with you a meal,
good and large and a pretty girl
and wine and health and laughter.
So I say, if you bring this, my friend,
you will dine well: for your Catullus
has a purse full of cobwebs.
But you will still receive fine love,
better and sweeter than any wine:
for I will give perfume, which love
gives to my sweet girl,
which when you smell, you will wish
the gods, Fabullus, to make you all a nose.
This delightful poem shows what Catullus saw as the most important elements of a meal, showing his down-to-earth attitudes which were totally in opposition to the attitudes of the wealthy set of Rome of the time. This theme of friendship being more important than wealth is found throughout the Latin poets, especially in Horace.